What does everyone have that hardly anyone had 20 years ago? A password! And even multiple ones! Some of us have a hundred or more. Even our elementary aged kids have them!
As a longtime CyberSAFE instructor, committed to security awareness in our community, I once taught an elementary school version of the CyberSAFE class and the kids told me they had passwords for their chat rooms, for their Roblox game, some had Fortnite logins, etc. I then gave them their first cybersecurity awareness lesson by telling these 2nd graders to "NEVER tell anyone your password except mom and dad."
Then we played a game of creating good password examples as I shared with them my own examples of long and strong passwords that were easy to remember but hard for others to guess. I challenged them to makeup their own password and promised a surprise gift for the best example.
Then I selected one very talkative little girl to come to the front of the class. I stated to everyone, "Now we are going to see who is going to win the surprise! I asked her in front of everyone, "Now what's your password?"
She gave me whats known as a "Side-eye" and then looked me dead in the eye as she said " Um, Mr. Mike you told me never tell ANYONE my password!"
I reached in my briefcase and took my whistle and party noisemaker! "Congratulations!" I said to her.
Not only did you teach us this amazing lesson on password security but you resisted the number one hacker attack method, which is when they say, "Ill give you someting if you tell me y our password!
And this 7 yr old cybersecurity awareness evangelist reminds us all of the number one way the evil hackers get your passwords. They ask you for them. Except you might not know they are up to no good. They send you a link, or they call you on the phone. They send you an email or they hit you up with a link on Facebook messenger or Instagram. You say, "HMMM whats this...? and then you click that link. That’s how they get your password and once they have it you can never undo that.
They are out to steal your passwords! Why ? Your Passwords are e the keys to the kingdom.
Can you believe that some folks use the same email address and password for EVERYTHING?
Next time I'll tell you the story of the couple who used their personal Netflix credentials on a TV at the hotel they were staying at.
It's a real horror story because it turns out that they used the same login for everything. Bank.Credit card accounts. Every.Thing.
It did not end well for them. They should have enrolled in CyberSAFE.
But there is learning for us from their misfortune.
1st - Use a different password for everything. Even if it's so long that you can't remember it. The next time you login choose the "forgot password" option and just reset it.
2nd - Make your password long and strong - Consider using a passphrase which is even better! PapaWasARollingPhone!
3rd - Use a password manager to store all of your long and strong passphrases. Its encrypted and can be installed on your phone to help you easily recall all those strong passwords you've created.
and Tip Number 4 -Sign up for CyberSAFE Training. This is a non-technical class for "digital immigrants" that will change your life. It teaches you how to learn how to learn. No longer will you go around saying , "But I'm not technical, that's why I got hacked!"- Instead you will be saying, "Because I enrolled in CyberSAFE, I KNEW not to click that link!"